BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The Federal and state governments of Nigeria have been advised to spend more on culture and tourism as a panacea to the present economic crisis confronting the country.
Former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola gave the charge in Osogbo during a cultural programme tagged: “Presentation of Orisa Dances of Yoruba land” and organised by the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding (CBCIU), Osogbo.
According to Oyinlola, who is the current chairman of the Centre, the cultural programme attended by school children from both primary and secondary in the state was to preserve the Yoruba cultural heritage and to prevent Orisa dances from going into extinction.
While emphasising the need for the federal and states government to utilise culture and tourism to contribute meaningfully to the diversification of Nigeria’s economy, Oyinlola assured President Muhammad Buhari of full support through cultural and tourism development.
The CBCIU boss noted that proactive measures needed to be taken by stakeholders and lovers of this country to salvage it from the current economic doldrums occasioned by the sharp drop in the price of crude oil which has remained the mainstay of the economy.
The former military administrator of Lagos State therefore promised to, under the auspices of CBCIU, go the whole hog in developing culture and tourism potentials in the state to boost the nation’s economy.
Oyinlola maintained that CBCIU would collaborate with the Federal government and Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration to develop tourism and culture in the land with a view to maximising their potentialities.
His words: “Kenya, Egypt depend largely on tourism, but we have been complacent in Nigeria here because of crude oil which can no longer sustain us instead of taking good advantage of God-given gifts to improve on our economy. It is high time we diversiied our economy in diverse ways to survive the current hardship.
“We are aware that Osun and indeed Nigeria are sitting on what could be regarded as a goldmine of culture and tourism that are highly regarded as the world’s biggest economic force today because it circulates more money and inspires more investment and social contract than any other economic factor. That is why we must urgently key into this to improve our economy.”
He also advised parents and guardians to always ensure that their children understand and practise the culture of Yoruba.